I Thought I Was Losing My Mind At First
by Serbella McGee
(St. Louis, MO)
I'd planned on retiring in October 2014. I was on a long term temp contract with the city. Every 5 months I had to take a week off (unpaid leave) while the city paid the temp agency.
Seems they weren't too good about paying on time. Well, the city agency I worked for messed up my contract by putting the wrong job duties on there. HR rejected the requisition.
I was suddenly unemployed. I was in a panic. Didn't know how I was going to pay my rent until October. I calmed down and realized that I could draw unemployment. It wasn't much, but it would pay my rent.
In the meantime I had time to think, did I really want to go back? The answer was NO.
I could've gone back to the same agency through the AARP Worksearch program, but I'd dealt with them before. I was not impressed with the quality of jobs they provided: receptionist/unarmed security guard.
I have computer skills that I developed just to avoid those kinds of jobs. Then too, the people I worked closely with showed their true colors: Phil blamed me for him not meeting his quota (it was a lie) and Snadra (the new AARP worker) decided that clerical work was beneath her. She and Phil got together and cherrypicked the work assignments.
I got all the so-called long and involved stuff, even tho I gave Sandra training and examples of how the letters should look. That was more than anyone did for me when I first arrived.
Sandra went around bragging that she and Phil had so much in common. Yep. They're both lazy and treacherous. I let this go on for a week, then I dropped the hammer on them.
When I went to the office manager and exposed what they did Sandra and Phil both claimed they were innocent and everything was a mistake. Sure it was.
He would go into her office and hand her the really short letters, sit there and laugh and talk with her while he slipped the long letters into the in box. He even put a post-it with my name on it on every letter. For me? How sweet. That was a week before I went on hiatus.
I decided not to go back once the UI started coming. I hated office work anyway. I didn't think I defined myself by my work, but I guess I did. I became anxious and worried, and yes, depressed. Even felt guilty for not going back to work!
I called one of the psych clinics here and I'm due to go in and talk to someone next week. I realize now I'm not worried about my finances. I have some ideas about making money in a creative way. It seems odd to me to miss something that I hated so much, but that was my situation.
In my family the ideal was to get a good job, stay there and retire. I never wanted to be an office assistant, I wanted to be a writer/artist, but in my family and in this city that kind of thing was not encouraged.
I'm done working with idiots and ingrates. I realized that my work was not appreciated and I decided I could do better without them. I had no doubt that what happened before would happen again. Sandra told me once that she wasn't any good at clerical work. Well, she's gotten plenty of practice since I left. Sandra and Phil are not young people. They'll never see 55 again in this lifetime.
Last night I had a conversation with Paula, a dear friend of mine, and she cut right to the chase. She's very supportive. That's one reason why I like her so much.
I'm really glad I found this website. I had never heard any retiree admit to feeling this way.